The Chicago Fire continues its hot streak by beating the Montreal Impact at Toyota Park, on a score of 3-1. The Montreal Impact stay at the 7th position in the East, 3 points behind the Columbus Crew, 5 behind D.C. United. A game that started well for the Impact when Marco Di Vaio gave the lead at the 20th minute, off a headed pass from Hassoun Camara. Less than15 minutes later, Sherjill MacDonald ties the game off a header, after what seemed to be a siege on the Montreal box.
Respectively at the 61st (Alex) and at the 80th (Alvaro Fernandez) and two mistakes later, the Fire crushed the Impact's hope to get back to the game and sealed the deal. From missed chances, ''tired'' legs and a better Chicago team over 90 minutes, a mix of good and bad marked the game for Montreal, something the team could not really afford.
The Chicago Fire continue their winning and aim high in the rankings and wait to host the Columbus Crew next week. On the other side, the Montreal Impact survive to stay in the playoff race as they
The puzzling thing about this game is how fast the tempo of the game uni-laterally shifted for the home team. We can quantify it with positionning, mistakes and individual prowess [from the Chicago Fire], but is mental fatigue a big factor ?
More after the jump
Positive Note: Marco Di Vaio
Marco Di Vaio has been one of the constant pillars of the team in the team's winning run. Without forgetting Patrice Bernier, the Italian Designated Player has scored 1 goal in the last 4 games while tallying 6 shots on goal during that span. His goal against the Chicago Fire was a beautiful setup from beginning to end. Nelson Rivas delivers a long precise cross to Hassoun Camara on the right flank who heads the ball towards Di Vaio. He immediately recognizes the gap between Berry and Friedrich, controls the ball, dribbles around the ex-German international and scores a nice goal.
Marco Di Vaio is fun to watch and is delivering the merchandise as a striker. Many fans and the team would have wished that he would have scored more earlier in his MLS beginnings but he is very efficient right now.
Finish them off..or else
Including the only goal scored, the Montreal Impact had 15 attempts on goal and with a few chances around and in the box. Between blocked shots and disappointing shots, Montreal was able to get a few looks at Sean Johnson 's goal but not enough to put it in.
During the first half, the Montreal Impact had quick legs and an easy way to get forward quickly. It was quite impressive to see how quickly the team transitioned. The main concern ,throughout the second half , was the notable fatigue and lack of solutions for the midfield to deliver the ball forward.
Weak defense or weak defensive?
It was not Alessandro Nesta's best game in Major League Soccer but the whole team did not look good in the second half, or even after Chicago's tying goal. The Fire was attacking from all side , mixing it up via the middle with Rolfe and Macdonald. Anibaba was doing a great job on the right side as he took on Matteo Ferrari who did not a lot of help from Sanna Nyassi, who was focusing on the offensive side of the left midfield.
Let's go cliche and forget about this game and think of the next one. At this point, cliches are the way to go as the Impact will focus on the next game as Sporting Kansas City come into town. If the team continues being ''unbeatable'' at Stade Saputo, continuing that streak is a welcome.
Is Hope Lost to make the playoffs? Not yet, neither mathematically nor realistically but it goes back to winning games and hoping for good results. The Impact will not be looking at playing pretty and losing but has produced a nice brand of soccer, with some consistency issues.
See you at Stade Saputo, Au Revoir